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Do I Have IVF Buyer's Remorse?

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While looking at schools for my 4-year-old, I came across a private school and realized, "Oh, it costs the same as his preschool. We can totally manage that."

That was followed by, "Crap, we can't. We're having another baby."

The moment I found out I was pregnant with our second child, I wasn't filled with the joy and relief I had anticipated. Instead it's been a steady march of anxiety and worry about whether or not we made the right choice.

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Indeed, a choice it was. I got pregnant through IVF, which means not only was this a very, very planned pregnancy, but I also put my body (and sometimes emotional stability) through months of tremendous stress and spent a ton of money to get there.

I call it IVF buyer's remorse.

Coping with endless injections, ultrasounds, hope and heartbreak took precedence over tiny details.

Normally associated with buying a house or a car—really anything that costs a heart-pounding amount of money—buyer's remorse is usually characterized by powerful sense of guilt or regret immediately after making the purchase. In a 2007 New York Times article, a Texas A&M psychologist put buyer's remorse in the category of cognitive dissonance, in which, "remorse may occur occasionally in real-life decisions because after the decision, individuals may encounter new information inconsistent with the previous decision."

What possible new information could have come out while my baby is still the size of a Lego figurine? It's not so much new, but more to the point; it's information I couldn't let myself think about during the IVF process.

Having unexplained infertility paired with rapidly aging eggs quickly pushed our casual plans to "some day" have another one into total urgency. The choice for straightforward IUI ballooned into the much more invasive IVF, and once you're on that train, it's hard to get off. Coping with endless injections, ultrasounds, hope and heartbreak took precedence over tiny details like, Can we really afford to raise a second child? How will this affect our son? But I'm SO TIRED all the time, how can I possibly deal with a newborn?

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Is this fear here to stay? Most likely it'll pass once I get past the dreadful first trimester that feels like a tiny alien is taking over my body and disrupting my day-to-day life with food aversions and random bouts of tears (and the farting, my god the farting). Maybe it'll happen when I can finally tell people in my life what's going on and bask in the beauty of the second trimester, when my body feels like my own again, only this time with a cute little bump. Or perhaps it'll pass when it's the right time to start planning the nursery and imagining the little person who will inhabit it.

In fact, I'll just assume it's like when you get past the shock of buying a house that's saddled you with 30 years of debt but a lifetime of dreams and accept the fact that even though the car might have been a little extravagant, it's a darn sweet ride.

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